That interest inspired the Kansas State University soybean breeding program to team up with the spectral analysis lab of Kevin Price, K-State professor of agronomy, to explore ways to increase the efficiency of the soybean breeding line selection process.
“The most time-consuming, land-intensive and expensive aspect of our breeding program at K-State is in harvesting the many thousands of early generation lines, weighing the seed and determining yield,” said Bill Schapaugh, K-State soybean breeder. “If we can find a way to separate out 50 percent or more of the very low-yielding lines without the need to combine harvest and weigh the seed, that would reduce the time and cost of our breeding program considerably,” Schapaugh said.
Spectral analysis, a method of analyzing the electromagnetic radiation coming from plants and other objects, is being used in the K-State Agronomy Department to determine the level of photosynthetic activity of vegetation in many different situations. The work is conducted with financial support from the Kansas Soybean Commission.
“We decided to work with Dr. Price’s spectral analysis team to try using this new technology in our soybean breeding nursery,” Schapaugh said. “The goal was to find out how effective this technology might be in predicting yields, stress tolerance and disease resistance as a way to eliminate unpromising lines early in the process.”
To do this, the K-State team, including graduate students Nan An, Brent Christenson, and Nathan Keep, used a ground-based spectroradiometer to gather spectral data in the visible and infrared spectra at various stages of growth, and correlated the results with actual yield data. They have spent the last two years trying to determine exactly what data to collect and how often, and whether any of the spectral regions being measured would have a good correlation to yield.
“Spectral analysis doesn’t have to be accurate enough to separate lines with a yield difference of just one or two bushels per acre. If it can separate lines with a yield difference of five to 10 bushels, that would be a great help in the preliminary stages of line evaluation,” Schapaugh said.
The initial model, developed by Christenson, correlated various spectral data at different growth stages with actual yields. The correlation using that model was not perfect, but was close enough to encourage further work.
“With this model, and using only the spectral data taken at the seed fill stage to make selections, we would have retained all of the highest yielding varieties by selecting the best half,” Schapaugh said.
“If we can repeat the kind of results we have achieved in the training population with experimental varieties from other populations, the precision should be accurate enough to cull out lines having a low yield potential at the earliest stage of evaluation. If we can discard low-yielding lines without having to harvest them and weigh the seed for yields, this will have tremendous value to the breeding program in terms of saving time, space and money,” he said.
The K-State team is expanding its research into this new technology, developing more robust models, using different types of sensors, adding genotypes, and evaluating the methods of measurement.
Also, this summer, the team members plan to test the use of aerial sensors in addition to the ground-based sensors. Price has been working on various aerial spectroradiometer applications in agriculture.
“Our goal is to be able to use spectral analysis to achieve a dramatic reduction in the cost of producing a unit gain in yield potential, and the results so far are promising,” Schapaugh said.
Bill Schapaugh is at 785-532-7242 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Steve Watson email@example.com; Elaine Edwards 785-532-5851 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Schapaugh | Source: Newswise
Further information: www.ksu.edu
More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:
Sustainable recultivation of abandoned agricultural land in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus
04.12.2013 | Leibniz-Institut für Agrarentwicklung in Mittel- und Osteuropa
Which genes cause deafness in dogs?
04.12.2013 | Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Quantum entanglement, a perplexing phenomenon of quantum mechanics that Albert Einstein once referred to as “spooky action at a distance,” could be even spookier than Einstein perceived.
Physicists at the University of Washington and Stony Brook University in New York believe the phenomenon might be intrinsically linked with wormholes, hypothetical features of space-time that in popular science fiction can provide a much-faster-than-light shortcut from one part of the universe to another.
But here’s the catch: One couldn’t actually ...
A star is formed when a large cloud of gas and dust condenses and eventually becomes so dense that it collapses into a ball of gas, where the pressure heats the matter, creating a glowing gas ball – a star is born.
New research from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, shows that a young, newly formed star in the Milky Way had such an explosive growth, that it was initially about 100 times brighter than it is now. The results are published in the scientific journal, Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The young ...
EPFL scientists have shown how to achieve a dramatic increase in the capacity of optical fibers; Their simple, innovative solution reduces the amount of space required between the pulses of light that transport data
Optical fibers carry data in the form of pulses of light over distances of thousands of miles at amazing speeds. They are one of the glories of modern telecommunications technology.
However, their capacity is limited, because the pulses of light need to be lined up one after the other in ...
NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel airborne mission known as HS3 wrapped up for the 2013 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season at the end of September, and had several highlights. HS3 will return to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.
During the 2013 mission, two unmanned Global Hawks flew from Wallops for the first time. The mission highlights included studying the Saharan Air Layer, following the genesis of a tropical storm, finding a unique hybrid core or center circulation in a redeveloped storm, obtaining measurements on the strongest side of ...
Nanosponges that soak up a dangerous pore-forming toxin produced by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) could serve as a safe and effective vaccine against this toxin.
This "nanosponge vaccine" enabled the immune systems of mice to block the adverse effects of the alpha-haemolysin toxin from MRSA—both within the bloodstream and on the skin. Nanoengineers from the University of California, San Diego described the safety and efficacy of this nanosponge vaccine in the December 1 issue of ...
04.12.2013 | Health and Medicine
04.12.2013 | Materials Sciences
04.12.2013 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
04.12.2013 | Event News
12.11.2013 | Event News
29.10.2013 | Event News